How the Heck Did Pickup Trucks Get So Big?

If you’ve been on an American road for the past 20 years, chances are you’ve noticed something. That is, the pick-up seems to be getting bigger and bigger. This behemoth is broad, tall, and broad in general. Compare a mid-size truck from 2023 to a full-size truck from the ’90s; You’re probably a little confused as to what a full-size mockup is. So how do you get so big?

Are the trucks bigger than they used to be?

There is no getting around it. Trucks are bigger than they used to be. Whether it’s a Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, or even, compare these pickups to the past, and it’s clear there’s been some significant growth.

The answer to why trucks are so big is pretty simple. It is what consumers want to buy. These vehicles have huge profit margins for the car manufacturers. Therefore, it makes sense to give people something that they will actually buy. Even if the size is larger it often means less efficient and more expensive.

2023 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro | Alison Barfield, Motor Biscuit

Ford F-150 is the best-selling car in the United States

Despite its growing size, according to it, the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States for more than 40 years. And the F-150’s inversion shows an interesting trend with modern trucks.

The trucks have a layout of 36% cabin and 64% bed. This makes sense, in the past, trucks were work vehicles. So you may want to focus on the bed for utility purposes.

Today’s F-150 has turned that on its head. Now, it’s 63% cabin and 37% bed. In fact, most new trucks you can buy today will likely have four doors. And in some cases, the long bed is actually limited to certain decorations.

Pickup trucks are getting heavier

Despite advances in things like aluminum materials, trucks are getting heavier. Accordingly, the weight of trucks increased by 32% between 1990 and 2021. Now, trucks are not alone in this weight gain. Things like safety regulations and other factors make vehicles heavier across the board.

A red 2023 Ford F-150 towing a trailer is named Edmunds' top-rated truck
Ford F-150 | stronghold

But because they can be more dangerous when it comes to accidents. And more weight doesn’t help.

The Chevy C20 may be a lighter truck than the recent options, but it lacks safety features.
Chevy C20 | bull doser

Fortunately, most new trucks come with some legitimate safety technology. This technology includes things like 360-degree cameras and pedestrian detection. But a tool is only as effective as the person using it. At the end of the day, it is important to make sure the driver pays attention to their surroundings.

Why do Americans love trucks?

In the United States, we have a love affair with pickup trucks, for better or for worse. Trucks offer utility and a sense of freedom that other vehicles simply don’t. Even if most truck owners don’t do the truck stuff.

Side view of new silver 2023 Ram 1500 TRX pickup, highlighting the cost of the fully loaded truck
2023 RAM 1500 TRX | RAM
America's love affair with trucks may not necessarily be established

Even with the arrival of electric cars, trucks aren’t going anywhere. Most of them have or have plans to offer EV pickups. So, you can still get a solid car even if it doesn’t have a V8 under the hood.

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